Welcome to our "Know How" series - we share ways to maximize your success! See all best practices.
If you're shipping with ShippingEasy, we have the tools and tips to keep you going without skipping a beat all year long.
Get a head start preparing for any expected influx of orders by making sure you have enough supplies to ship your product.
Select the Right Packaging for the Best Value
Carriers Provide Free Packaging
If you use carrier specific or flat rate packaging, you can find the packaging you need for free. More than likely, you can even have it delivered to your door! We have links to major carriers' ordering pages:
Also consider asking your carrier representative if they can assist you with automatic packaging refills.
Custom Packages Control Shipping Costs and Advertise Your Brand
If you use custom packaging, check with your supplier to see if they offer a volume discount. It may be worth getting a little extra - not only for the added savings - but also in case your sales exceed expectations.
Although using custom packaging may appear to cost a little more up front, that's not necessarily the case when it's all said and done. In fact, there are a lot of advantages to using custom packages. To name a few:
- Cheaper postage: depending on the weight and dimensions of your packages, you may end up paying less for postage than other carriers' options. This is especially true if your package qualifies for reduced dimensional rates or DIM weight surcharges.
- Branding: when using your own packaging, you have a blank slate to promote your brand. A box with your logo is like a mobile billboard!
- Save on packing materials: a well-sized box means you use less packing materials to secure contents. Proper packing is key to safe delivery and the best rates, but supply cost can add up. Avoid six common packing mistakes.
Labels, Tape, and Packing Materials Safeguard Delivery
Don't forget that you'll need to fill dead space with packing material, seal the package, and put a label on it.
- Labels: costs can add up quickly, so it might also be a good time to reevaluate your printer. Compare costs of thermal-printers versus laser-printers.
- Packing Tape: make sure that you use quality packing tape so that packages stay sealed during transit.
- Packing Materials: sufficient cushioning keeps contents from shifting and helps to absorb shocks. Learn how to protect shipments.
Reduce Package Size and Weight to Keep Postage Cost Down
Envelopes Add Less Weight Than Boxes
Light weight envelopes can save considerably on weight. Envelopes often pack up smaller than boxes, too, which can help avoid DIM weight surcharges. It is best to purchase quality envelopes that can withstand wear, tear, and weather.
Not All Packing Materials are Equal
Packing materials are necessary for cushioning, but can quickly add weight to packages. Aim to use lightweight packing materials where possible. For instance, inflatable cushioning will weigh less than packing peanuts.
Just remember, packing materials have a job to fill. So, this might not be the place to cut corners if you' are shipping high value or fragile items.
Optimize Box Sizes for the Best Rates
Dimensional (cubic) pricing and dimensional (DIM) weight pricing are based on volume (length x width x height) rather than physical weight.
- Dimensional (cubic) pricing for small packages: when packages are very small (less than 0.5 cubic feet in volume) they can secure you lower dimensional (cubic) rates. Learn about USPS dimensional pricing.
- Dimensional (DIM) weight pricing for large packages: on the other hand, dimensional (DIM) weight pricing applies to larger packages that are relatively light weight. Learn about DIM weight pricing.
If you can keep multiple box sizes on hand, be aware of which size you are selecting when packing an order. This is enough to optimize huge savings in your process across all orders.
Remove Extra Weight
Batteries add extra weight to shipments. They can also cause your products to make noises or vibrations that result in extra inspection and delays or - worse yet - no delivery at all.
Configure your Shipping Solution to Automate Operations
Save Package Dimensions to Save Time and Get Accurate Rates
Entering package dimensions - including length, width, height, and weight - is key to ensuring that you receive accurate rates. However, entering this data for each shipment can be both tedious and time consuming. Check into your shipping solution to see what options are available to save the dimensions of your most used packaging.
If you are subscribed to ShippingEasy, you can save dimensions in your PACKAGE SETUP settings. Learn how to save custom packaging.
Assign Carrier Services that Optimize Rates
First, get to know the carriers that are available to you. Many shippers use USPS services for their versatile and cost effective services. For instance, USPS Priority Mail supports dimensional pricing, which offers lower rates for small packages.
Once you have found the optimal mix of carrier services that compliment your packaging, set up rules to map services to shipments. This step takes a little planning, but ultimately saves tremendous time making shipping decisions and ensures that shipping selections are well considered regardless of who is doing your shipping.
If you are subscribed to ShippingEasy, you can set up custom Shipping Rules to assign carrier services to orders and shipments. See an Shipping Rule for assigning a package and dimensions.
With a little attention to your packaging, you can maximize your profits! Check out more e-commerce best practices.